Thursday, July 31, 2008

Iranian Women's Studies Foundation: A Bridge

Long Report;
A Critical Report of The 19th international
IWSF conference:

Following my Short Report, I wrote a critical review of the 19th IWSF conference, which is now published on It is called Something Missing: a Critical Report of the 19th annual IWSF Conference. In this report I have viewed Iranian Women’s Studies Foundation (IWSF) as a bridge, a bridge between the academic Iranian women’s studies and the Iranian women’s right activists; I have tried to analyse the efforts contribted by both sides on the issues concerning Iranian women.

The 19th IWSF Conference, Berkeley, CA, July 2008

Related Links:

* The Essential Needs of the Iranian Woman Today: The 19th International Annual Conference of the Iranian Women's Studies Foundation:

* Bandari, Roja, The review of the 19th IWSF conference at WE Change. Org

*Dolatshahi, Sanam, The 19th IWSF conference: first day’s report on Radio Zamaneh

* Leva Zand’s report on Radio Zamaneh

*Fighting Back, Photo Essay by talieshah on

* Something Missing, by Roja Najafi on
. I also would like to thank Nazy Kaviani for her intuitive editing.

Friday, July 25, 2008

July Updates

My review of Ardeshir Mohassess’s exhibition was published on the English section of Peyk Newsletter, number 116. (For the pdf version check Peyk on Persian Cultural Center (PCC). Click on the English Section - No.116, July & August 2008)

And if you are around New York City please visit Ardeshir Mohassess: Art & Satire in Iran on Asia Society Museum. The exhibition is on view through July. Asia Society Museum has free admission on Fridays from 6-9 pm but unfortunately their free Friday afternoons are not active from July 4 to Labor Day.

Tameshk Film Club:
Hopefully you have seen Tameshk's June - July films; we will talk about them next week. Please send in your film suggestions for August - September. Also I am thinking about some possible online places for the film discussions: any suggestions? If you like to have live film discussions we can use Skype. Let me know.

Asia Society Museum, New York Headquarters, June 2008

Friday, July 18, 2008

A mathematician, even in his dreams!

Not for the quick kisses before we pass out in the daybreak,
Not for the short emails you used to send me or the letters I used to hide in you backpack,
Not for the wet eyes of yours when you see me crying,

Not for those,
If only for the fact that last night,
on one of your usual sleep-talkings you said out load:
486 times 312 is 151632, which reminded me you are still here,
close to me!

A Mathematician in the Futurist Gallery, MOMA, May 2008

*No, he really said that.
*Yes, he is a mathematician.
*Happy Birthday!

P.S. Khosrow Shakibai, the Iranian actor, passed away: BBC Persian

Monday, July 14, 2008

Heavy Light

Heavy Light: Recent Photography &Video From Japan

The International Center of Photography Museum (ICP) in New York is a place to stop by if you are in Manhattan. A month ago, I visited their current exhibition, Heavy Light, a joyful visual challenge that I always welcome.

The unconventional quality that has always amazed me when facing Japanese painting and cinema, once again struck my aesthetic taste when I saw these contemporary photographs. Heavy Light exhibition presents photographic artworks of thirteen photographers who are among the new generation of Japanese photographers. The exhibition is curated by Christopher Phillips and the Kyoto University of art and design professor, Noriko Fuku.

I started with the first gallery where Asako Narahashi’s works were displayed: his photographs called, Half Awake, Half Sleep in the Water, (2000-03), is a series of photos with unstable POV that gives a suspended view of the shore from the water. Walking through Narahashi series, little by little his strange point of view becomes the most natural viewpoint; to think of it, his suspended camera is in the most familiar place for a photographer native to an Island in the Pacific Ocean.

Blast by Naoya Hatakeyama is another photo series that really suits the idea of Heavy Light. A chain of snapshots of an explosion throwing a mixture of dust, stone and cement into the air, presents the eyes with the essence of the notions of heavy and light; heavy when it is glued to earth and light when it can detach itself form the gravity. The explosion (a mine explosion or an explosion for a construction) catalyzes the process of Heavy-Light-ing.

Yukio Nakagawa, one of the oldest photographers in this exhibition, is a norm-breaking Ikebana artist (the Japanese art of flower arrangement). Nakagawa’s flower photographs can be considered as haiku photography, if such a school exists in photography.

Among other photographers of this exhibition, I believe Midori Komatsubara’s photographs Sanctuary, leaves the door open for further studies. Sanctuary is a series of photos recreating 10 characters form a popular Japanese comic book called “Yaol”. Although the comic book characters are all boys, Komatsubara’s photographs are all played by girls. Komatsubara’s attempt to narrate a story, I believe has failed in contact with non-Japanese viewer.

To me the most enjoyable works, as well as the most realistic photographs of the exhibition were Hiroh Kikai’s portraits of people from northeast Tokyo. His lifelong project, from 1973 to present, in capturing daily faces of people, is so realistic that makes it impossible for the viewer to forget them; his portraits are more than people’s frontage; they are open gateways, so the viewer can pass the faces and get to know who they really are.

Heavy Light is on view until September 7th 2008. There is an $8 fee for students and the general admission is $12. The ICP Museum is closed on Mondays.

Yukio Nakagawa, Eyelashes, 1976,
Courtesy of Yukio Nakagawa Office and the Miyagi Museum of Art

Hiroh Kikai, 2002, Courtesy of the artist,
A man who tells me that he has always wanted to attract attention,
ever since he was a kid, and has always been knocked around for it

Asako Narahashi,
Half Awake and Half Asleep in the Water (Makuhari)
2001, Courtesy of the artist

Monday, July 07, 2008

Short Report:

I got my boarding pass and finally passed the security check. I had some time to get a cup of cappuccino.

Cold: I felt the warmth of the cappuccino in my hand and in my throat, both; I wanted to carry that warmth with me into the plane, into the air.

Excited: My pearl earrings dangled and tickled me while I was running to the baggage claim area.

Lost: Not so much in translation than in UC Berkeley. Late for registration, for seeing friends, for everything, not so much for getting lost but in makeup .

There: I got to the 19th International IWSF Conference.

Crunched: the land of Sunrise, Khavaran; the sun reminds me of you; here, from far away, I saw you, like I always do, and I saw the many golden hearts that are buried next to yours. It is 20 years now. And I am counting them, my heart crunched.

Paralyzed: Everyone needs a shoulder to cry on. I have a pillow.

Magic: I held a jar of Tameshk jam in my hand, heavier than steel; my body melted under its weight; I thought of your hand and the lively pulse in your eyes; a magician called friend.

Inside out: The IWSF Conference and I, August 2008

Rodin sculptures in Stanford, August 2008

Khavaran, Mothers' of Khavaran, IWSF, August 2008

It Could Be Blue, August 2008